The results are in and the winner is clear:
The Wire took the lead early and never let go. Arrested Development on the other hand could not hold it’s early lead and slipped into third place behind Seinfeld, which wasn’t even really a player in the nomination round.
The Simpsons beat out that other beloved tv family, The Sopranos for fourth place.
The top 15 in order are:
- The Wire
- Arrested Development
- The Simpsons
- The Sopranos
- West Wing
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Battlestar Galactica
- Freaks and Geeks
- Six Feet Under
- Fawlty Towers
- Larry Sanders
- Veronica Mars
- Hill Street Blues
Looking at the list we see a prodominance of hour long dramas in the top 15 even though three half hour comedies made the top five. The top five features three series about families and all of them are ensemble shows. In fact ensemble casts dominate the whole list.
There are three cop shows in the top 15 and three series set in the world of high school (at least in the initial seasons).
I have dvd sets of 10 of them in my personal collection. How about you?
I was going to cry for all mankind if anything beat The Wire. My cheeks are free of tears. Good show all!
I think it is interesting these are, with a few exceptions, relatively recent shows. Will be curious to see how this list weathers 25 years… maybe even 5.
Ben, there was never any doubt for The Wire in this vote… it always held a strong lead.
Cal, I noticed the newness of the shows as well. The top 15 makes a couple of casual nods to some of the older shows that set the shape of this new generation — Hill Street (1981), Larry Sanders (1992) and Fawlty Towers (1975). But even they aren’t OLD shows, just the forerunners in the current wave.
The Simpsons and Seinfeld debuted in 1989, The Sopranos in 1999, Arrested Development in 2003 and The Wire in 2002.
I Love Lucy invented the three-camera comedy. MTM perfected it.
Just because sit-coms seem old hat now doesn’t diminish the ground-breaking importance of these shows.
Couldn’t agree more, Lisa. We’ve been slowly working our way back through the Lucy seasons and the series is still fresh and funny.
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